Tales From Topographic Oceans review by Yes

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jan 9, 1974
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (25 votes)
Yes: Tales From Topographic Oceans

Sound — 10
This is the most underated Yes album made, and one of the best. Made in 1973, "Tales" is a double disc album with four songs, all around twenty minuetes long. Between Rick Wakemans synth solo on "The Revealing Science Of God." The beutiful classical guitar solo on "The Ancient Giants Under The Sun" and the bass and drum solos in "Nous Sommes Du Soleil." Tales from topographic oceans is vital for any Yes fan. Jon Andersons creativity was at it's peak for during this album. He wanted to record it in the middle of a forrest, but was turned down, so he tried recording it with hay in the studio and ended up giving Wakemans keyboards lice. Either way the album was recorded it's amazing, every little detail is incredible know matter how many times you listen to it.

Lyrics — 9
Jon Anderson at his finest, both as a song writer and a singer. Steve Howe also helped write all the songs, making some classic stuff like "Stand on hills of long forgotten yesterdays" and "And I heard a million voices singing". Jon Andersons voice is very powerful on this album, making it a little more focused on the vocals through most of the album.

Overall Impression — 10
This album is a staple for all progressive rock, sadly critcized by music critics in the US in never hit big here. I believe this album is another reason why Yes may be the greatest Prog rock band of all time. It may be a little harder to listen to then "Close To The Edge" and a little more down beat then "Relayer" but it is still a gem in every way. If I had to complain about something, it would be the excessive jamming during the first ten minuetes during "Ancient Giants Under The Sun". If I lost this album I would probably be very depressed for a week, then borrow it from my friend.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is contriversial albumn for sure. I love it but i hate to say that The Ancient and The Remembering are a little on the boring side and thats coming from a huge prog fan. Ritual and Reaveling science of God though, are definetly two of the best masterpeices YES has ever written next to Close the The Edge and Gates of Delerium
    RSOG and Ritual are the best tracks,though they are hard to appreciate until you've heard them a few times and can relate to them better.
    Let me tell you a little something. Working through these songs to churn out my bass tabs, each one is it's own little masterpiece, but together they truly make one amazing package. There are so many motifs that you just don't notice. For example, a bit of the extended bass solo in Nous Sommes Du Soleil is actually a bass transposition of the soaring slide guitar in Giants Under the Sun. That's just awesome